5 steps to set the goals (not just for New Year resolutions!)

New Year is an excellent time to change everything and set the goals for the next 12 months. I believe a lot of you have in mind those great words: new year, new you! I don’t want to tone down your enthusiasm, but a more accurate phrase which suits best is a new year, old you. And it’s totally fine!

Why – you ask. Well, we all love new beginnings, fresh starts, the feeling we can start again. We all love setting a date: we’re starting from Monday, from the 1st day of the month. I believe a lot of you starting, but if you struggle with the “new beginning” and after a few days you don’t even remember what you wanted to change. I’ve been there too! So, don’t wait for the new month, next Monday or any particular day. Star today, and here I am to help you change something this time and help you set your goals!

How to set the goals and win 2020

Planning is the key.

I can imagine you’ll ask – wait, why even it is important? Well, planning gives a sense that you control the time. We all are here just for the second, and it will be best to use that time wisely. Planning is not just about writing random things into your calendar and never look at it again.

This time you can try to do it differently – sit down, take a piece of paper and think about what you really want to change or what is your next project. Set the goals by writing it down! It doesn’t matter if you need to write a thesis or lose some weight. Write down everything comes to your mind. Ready, steady, go – set your goals.

Next step is essential. From the list, you already wrote down, choose one action you want to achieve. Think about what you will need to make your goal? How long does it take? What will be the result of your action? Do you need help – and if yes, where you can get it from?

Setting your goal is one thing, but also write at least five reasons why it is important to you. It might help if you will write those reasons down and you will put it next to your desktop or on the fridge. But before you go, here’s another tip which can help you achieve this!

To set the goals it’s good to start with SMART plan.

SMART plan is all what you need!

As a graphic designer, I couldn’t resist and prepared for you memorable infographic to help you understand how SMART goals work!

set the goal SMART
Set SMART goals!

To achieve your goal, make sure your plan is SPECIFIC. What doesn’t mean? The project “write a PhD” seems like a big goal, and it doesn’t mean anything. Probably you’ll see it and doesn’t even know where to start. Let’s say you need to write a big assignment or thesis. What is your nearest step to achieve? Try to divide it to manageable pieces; write down every step you need to do to make your big goal. Try to use a mind map or just bullet points – it’s up to you! Now, when you get to your work, you’ll exactly know what you need to do.

The plan needs to be MEASURABLE – what is the result of your action? When will you be able to say: okay, that’s finished? You need a clear endpoint of every action you make, so you can close the case and do the next step. While you achieve the next steps, you’ll be able to measure your progress.

Make sure everything is ASSIGNABLE. Your goals will be challenging but make sure they’re achievable. As I mentioned earlier – try to outline the steps, as small as you need – so you can tick them during the process! It’s good practise also to think about the barriers or help you may need during achieving the goal.

The plan needs to be RELEVANT. Try to find out which action needs to be taken and which are useless. Sometimes we spend too much time on meaningless activities which doesn’t get us any closer to our goals.

And finally, make sure your plan is TIME-BOUND. The best way to keep motivated to set a deadline. End date helps to focus and force yourself even when you’re not in the mood to work. Make sure you have enough time – and also add a little bit extra just to make sure you’ll be able to finish on time, because sometimes things just happen, and they’re out of our control.

More you can read here.

Review your plan

Reviewing your plans will help, especially if the goals are big. The time you spend evaluating your actions and progress will help you better adjust to the SMART plan. Don’t be afraid to modify your plan or adjust set goals to the dynamic situation.

Keep your calendar up-to-date.

When you are reviewing your action, make sure you’re updating the main calendar. It doesn’t matter which way do you use paper calendars or mobile version. The most important part is to achieve your goal. There is a lot of apps and calendars which you can use! Although, if you’re a fan of the paper version of calendars I have something special for you – free calendar for 2020 so you can plan your year right now! Set the goals easier and faster!

Set the goals for 2020 on your free printable calendar!

To help you plan this year we created an exclusive freebie for our readers – free printable calendar for 2020 to set the goals easier! It’s set for A3 size, as you have a full look at all 12 months. It’s the best way to plan your whole year on one piece of paper and every time you need to control your nearest deadlines, conferences or your sister’s birthday – everything is here for you!

Download “Calendar 2020 A3” motivated-academic-2020-A3-2.pdf – Downloaded 104 times – 461 KB

To help you set your goals easier and faster – check our FREEBIES tab! You will find there more helpful free printable materials to help you manage your work!

We hope this method will help you set the goals not just for new year but also for the any activity you will pick up. Prepare yourself earlier and go with the plan. That’s the key!

We wish you that this year will be good and you’ll achieve your goals – no matter what will happen in between!

Join Motivated Academic's newsletter

Get a weekly newsletter with newest information, promotions and extra tricks! Get ebook 25 ways to share your research for free!*

*By subscribing to our newsletter you agree with the privacy policy of the Motivated Academic. You can unsubscribe anytime.

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest


Digital Marketer & Graphic Designer /// CEO Magda Hanak Creative Design

Leave a comment